After the wedding we had discussed the fact that his older children were 5 & 6 years old already, we didn't want to wait to have kids. If we were going to have children, we wanted them to be as close in age as possible, so we made no attempts to use birth control after the wedding.
It was only a few months after the wedding before nature took its course and I was pregnant again, and nine months later at the age of 18 I gave birth to my son. He was a happy healthy little boy that was my total joy. I had gone through a rough 26 hour delivery with him, and we made the decision that enduring that once, was going to be enough. But during that time Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) was on the rise and in all the news, so we felt out of caution, we would wait until our son was a year old before we finalized our ability to have any more children.
A year had passed, and an appointment was set for my husband to render any additional growth to our family. Our son had safely grown past the danger period for SIDS, and we were happy with having three children to raise. But to our great surprise before he could get to his appointment, I found out I was pregnant again.
I carried my son very low in my first full term pregnancy, and this second pregnancy was totally different. I carried the baby high, and my symptoms were very different then my first time around. I was surrounded by many friends and family that were sure I was going to have a girl this second time around, including a baby shower that was all pink. At that time, ultra sounds were expensive and were only used if you were having a high risk pregnancy and so you really had no idea as to when the baby was coming, or what sex it would be. But with all the "signs" we picked out a girls name, packed pink outfits and blankets to bring the baby home in, and we were sure we were going to have this wonderful balanced family, two boys and two girls.
I was 20 years old when went into labor with my second child, still full of hope and expectations as to what is was to be a mother of what now was to be our fourth child. That day I was faced with the realization that rather than the girl that we had been anticipating, we now had another son which came with allot of disappointment. We had to quick pick a name while we were there in the hospital, and send someone home to get something that was not pink for him to come home in (not that he would have known the difference). I knew I loved this child, it just wasn't the same as my first son, or how I loved the old two children, but there was something brewing inside me that didn’t feel the same.
Not long after returning home from the hospital, my husband came home to find me sitting on the couch, holding the new baby, crying and deeply grieving. After some time of me trying to pull myself together, I was able to tell him what I was feeling.
Somewhere in my young head, I felt like I was being punished for ending the life of my first child. That the child I gave back to God was my girl; that I had given up my girl. I struggled for sometime with that idea; that I needed to be punished for what I had done. My husband was the only one who knew what was going on with me; I had to work through these feelings on my own. No one talked to me before the abortion about the fact there would be a chance I would grieve the life of that child or that I would struggle with my roll in that abortion. There were no support groups to turn to; no one to help me through the fact that I would have guilt, shame and remorse for my choice.
As my youngest son grew, my love for him grew; and I realized that instead of being punishment, this child was a gift to me. He may have been an Oops, guess what we are pregnant again, but he turned out to be part of my gift of grace.
Even though I found my way though this wave of grief, this was not the end of my grieving for my first child.